I was super-excited! I was decked up in turquoise and black diving suit with a snorkel ready to be jammed on! It was scuba-diving time at Lakshwadeep with a couple of my friends!
Our instructor was dumpy sort of a guy who seemed as if he had visited cosmetic surgeon for a permanent scowl fixture. His name was Mr. Kabra. Yeah, no first name. He maybe thought he was a coach with tons of military jawans at his disposal. Oh, well.
As usual, me and my friends had cooked up a nickname.
'Mr.Cobra.' I snorted under my breath.
Cobra glared at me, baring his fangs... Er, teeth. I stifled a laugh and smoothed it over with a cough.
The batty dude taught us a few symbols and I experienced Déjà Vu.
Or maybe I was just remembering Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.
Ahem. Doesn't matter.
The sky was a clear, forget-me-not blue and the sun felt soft on my already tanned skinned. Thank god, I don't turn lobster red out in the sun. Would have been a bummer.
As our boat set off to take us in the middle of the vast expanse of water, I leaned over to check out the water. It was still and clear. It was so beautiful! There were no words to describe the hue. It seemed like a mixture of azure, turquoise, peacock and cerulean. It was like...
'Az-tur-pea-lean. Azturpealean!' I chuckled under my breath. I liked the sound of it. Cobra looked at me suspiciously like I was smuggling RDX. I could totally imagine him brandishing a pair of handcuffs.
Cobra cleared his throat and said, 'Listen carefully, insolent prats!' I resisted a strong urge to salute him.
'These are shark-infested waters!' He snarled. His posture made me want to sing the National Anthem.
'Stick close to me and follow my instructions! Do. Not. Touch. Foreign. Objects!' He spat with every word. I was busy fiddling with my snorkel and did not pay attention.
And with whoosh, we dived in. It was blissful! Sunlight penetrated the surface making the water glitter a bazillion shades of blue. Schools of fish swam by. Vividly colored corals swayed lazily. Why wasn't it a wonder of the world?!
My mischief seeking eyes happened to notice a crimson coral issuing white stuff in puffs. I gave in to the urge and oblivious to Cobra's wild motions, I thrust my index in it.
A white cast took shape firmly and stay stuck to my finger. Blasted chemical!
I shook my finger hard like a lunatic and considering my position surrounded by water, it was difficult! But it stood its ground!
Thankfully, it wasn't lethal. At least nothing freaky like making me sprout eight tentacles or suddenly make me sprout a prophecy.
Cobra threw me a dirty look while I could see my friends trying to maintain a straight face. I hope I looked sheepish enough!
Suddenly, Cobra motioned us to join him at a midnight blue coral. Satisfied with corals for the day, I cast my eyes around.
Something flashed at the periphery of my vision. Bingo! It seemed like a jewel-encrusted turtle!
Ignoring Cobra and my mates, I swam over. I followed it to have a close look and unknowingly, I got away from the trio. Excellent! The turtle gave a sudden jolt and disappeared like a bullet. So much for the turtle. Oh, well. I stood there like a jobless moron.
Dejected, I turned to join my group and, to my horror, realized that there was a vast stretch between me and them.
And that is when I noticed I had company. Carnivorous company. Company with real sharp teeth who would have no trouble digesting me, suit and all. They were,
'Sh-sh-sharks!' I sweated.
Two of 'em were on my either side. One Nut Job swam between me and Cobra and the other Nutter behind me. Crap.
The one in front of me bared its pointy teeth as if imagining my taste with salsa sauce. My mind, to my dismay, conjured up snapshots from Jaws movie and it did not help at all!
Next shock? Nut Job advanced. Towards me. Great.
This was maybe how things would end for me...No fair, my brain moaned.We don't have a will ready yet!
Shut up,I commanded.
I did the only thing I could. Screaming 'Peanut Butter!' (That's my battle cry, by the way) and mustering the last iota of my strength, I dove to my right and landed on a soft patch of something I really wasn't curious about.
I twisted and saw those demented sharks swim away in harmony.
Wait, what? They hadn't followed me?
That's when it struck me: Sharks DO NOT attack until provoked. They merely thought me as an obstacle. Nut Job just wanted to get to Nutter. He didn't give a second thought about me. Splendid.
I would have burst into a dance had I not seen a furious Cobra swimming over. He was angry but I saw something else in his eyes. Admiration of my presence of mind? Approval of me not freezing in face of danger? It didn't matter as long as he didn't get me grounded!
Well, I'll let you figure put the rest on you own.
On a side note, it was the end of our scuba-diving session... Bummer!
I did get a lecture all right but I knew Cobra was impressed.
I learnt two very vital and valuable pieces of information that day.
First, follow instructions imparted always and stick to your guide when on alien ground. You cannot have your way always!
Jawsis a sham! Pfft!